Sunday, June 28, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 107 - Squandered

Continuing on with my year of found poetry, this is a short piece of prose fiction that I wrote as an exercise when I belonged to a writer's group in Yarmouth. I've reworked it here as a poem.

Ride the Poetry Train!


Terry glanced down
At the worn felt
Yellow, purple, blue monster sitting
On his right hand
Tusks bent for lack of stuffing

Terry had a sudden
Stabbing memory
An especially windy street performance
Wonky torn from his hand and Bill
Had actually chased the puppet
Into traffic
Nearly getting crushed
In the process
He returned with a
Drippy Wonky

Terry had felt
A ridiculous urge to
Hug Bill
For his heroism

Thank God
Bill would have thought
It was just
Terry's creative personality
Effusing over
Normal social boundaries

Terry had often
How he'd ever been
With such a
Conservative straight arrow like

Or how Bill managed
To religiously meet with Terry
For workshop sessions
Bill the editor
To Terry's throw-another-one-out-there style

He supposed
Those afternoons
Were Bill's only forum for

He tried to take it
From the top

One more time

The old routines
Were not
What he was
Looking for

It was hard
To shake himself up
To natter to thin air
How was he to
Bounce things
Off himself?

He supposed he'd have to learn how

Bill was gone

Bill was dead

All he had left
Was a schizophrenic puppet
Who had holes for an identity

Wonky was trying his best
Wasn't he?
But all his ideas
Were duds

- Julia Smith - June 28, 2009 - original text 2001

Monday, June 8, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 104 - I Can't Handle It All

My computer's still in the shop, so my blog schedule is a bit of a challenge right now.

Here's my latest found poem, taken from a diary entry from 1980 when I was in grade ten, my first year in high school. All through the school year I'd had a crush on Philip, a guy one grade level ahead of me. We were both in choir together.

This poem follows a memorable moment for me, one which helped me to decide that he was perhaps as interested in me as I was in him.

I Can't Handle It All

I can see it in his eyes
Can sense it when I'm next to him
So much happened to me today
I can't handle it all

While walking to Math
He saw me
Backtracked through the crowd
Told me he'd see me
The last two periods in the afternoon

At the beginning of Study
He came right out to
The Music portable
To work on Romeo and Juliet
With me

Fate must have been with me

I learned from Mike
That I'd be getting last period off
Phil had last period off
I forgot Romeo and Juliet at home
We got our books and walked
To my house

I didn't have the key
I had to crawl through the window
And run to unlock the door
To let him in

He'd had to carry his sax
All the way to my house
The saxophone is heavy

We listened to Dave Brubeck
He got out his own saxophone
And played along to the record

We went in the kitchen
And worked on Romeo and Juliet
It's going to be funny
I can't wait

My sister came home
He helped her clean the fishbowl
He made himself and me
Some good British tea

He asked me to come see him perform
With the jazz band at 7
So Connie and I went
We came in just as
Phil was doing a solo

The movement caught his attention
His eyes flashed
As he looked around Mr. March
At me

His excitement to see me
Danced all over his face
Over the top of his music

When I waved at him
He gave me a wave back

When the band finished playing
He hurried over
To sit beside me

It's so wonderful

- Julia Smith, 2009 / original text June 6th, 1980

Ride the Poetry Train!